What shapes childrens development? Evidence from Young Lives Cohort Study
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What shapes childrens development? Evidence from Young Lives Cohort Study

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A key contribution of life-course analysis is in exploring the timing of critical influences and experiences that affect children’s outcomes, including factors that increase (or reduce) resilience.

A key contribution of life-course analysis is in exploring the timing of critical influences and experiences that affect children’s outcomes, including factors that increase (or reduce) resilience.

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What shapes childrens development? Evidence from Young Lives Cohort Study What shapes childrens development? Evidence from Young Lives Cohort Study Presentation Transcript

  • What Shapes Children’s Development? Evidence from Young Lives cohort study Paul Dornan paul.dornan@qeh.ox.ac.uk Presentation aim: - Key findings from draft synthesis paper - Reflections for policy and programming Young Lives study: - Mixed-method cohort study following lives of 12,000 children over 15 years - Children growing up in Ethiopia, Andhra Pradesh, Peru and Vietnam
  • Starting principles • Children’s lives are lived multi-dimensionally, even if policy is delivered sectorally. Achieving objectives within a sector, requires acting beyond it • The earliest years are critical in shaping children’s health, capacities and opportunities. The impact of some early deprivations may be irreversible, but in some circumstances recovery may be possible • Looked across the early life course, disadvantages typically accumulate. Identifying the key triggers for diverging pathways that open up (or close down) opportunities is the first step to ensuring equity
  • Ways of thinking about the life course Shapin Societal context: physical/natural environment; jobs; infrastructure; values and norms Household: poverty; stage of development; risk exposure Transition events: e.g. school enrolment; family ill health or death; household change; migration; livelihood change Children’s development trajectories and agency: age-sensitive/critical periods; accumulated (dis)advantage Incidence and nature of transitions shaped by social /policy change, household stage, social norms. Impact conditioned by resilience factors Potential Intervention Opportunities Advantages: • Linking earlier causes and later consequences • Identifying the timing of when circumstances and events matter most • Identifying the ways children’s developmental trajectories are embedded in changing household, institutional, community and macro economic processes
  • Put differently: lives as lived, Teje’s story, age 9
  • Ways of thinking about the life course Shapin Societal context: physical/natural environment; jobs; infrastructure; values and norms Household: poverty; stage of development; risk exposure Transition events: e.g. school enrolment; family ill health or death; household change; migration; livelihood change Children’s development trajectories and agency: age-sensitive/critical periods; accumulated (dis)advantage Incidence and nature of transitions shaped by social /policy change, household stage, social norms. Impact conditioned by resilience factors Potential Intervention Opportunities Advantages: • Linking earlier causes and later consequences • Identifying the timing of when circumstances and events matter most • Identifying the ways children’s developmental trajectories are embedded in changing household, institutional, community and macro-economic processes
  • Children’s development is multidimensional with nutritional status predictive of both later learning and psychosocial well- being Height at 15 years Cognitive skills at 15 years Psychosocial development at 15 years Height at 12 Predicts later height in four countries Predicts later learning in three countries Does not predict later psychosocial development Cognitive skills at 12 Predict later height in one country only Predict learning in four countries Predict later psychosocial development in two countries Psychosocial development at 12 Does not predict later height Predicts learning in two countries Predicts later psychosocial development in one county only Source: Sanchez, A. (2013) The structural relationship between nutrition, cognition and non-cognitive skills: evidence from four developing countries, Young Lives Working Paper 111 Example: interdependencies between domains of development
  • Children’s development is multi-dimensional with nutritional status predictive of both later learning and psychosocial wellbeing Height at 15 years Cognitive skills at 15 years Psychosocial development at 15 years Height at 12 Predicts later height in four countries Predicts later learning in three countries Does not predict later psychosocial development Cognitive skills at 12 Predict later height in one country only Predict learning in four countries Predict later psychosocial development in two countries Psychosocial development at 12 Does not predict later height Predicts learning in two countries Predicts later psychosocial development in one county only Source: Sanchez, A. (2013) The structural relationship between nutrition, cognition and non-cognitive skills: evidence from four developing countries, Young Lives Working Paper 111 Example: interdependencies between domains of development
  • Children’s development is multi-dimensional with nutritional status predictive of both later learning and psychosocial wellbeing Height at 15 years Cognitive skills at 15 years Psychosocial development at 15 years Height at 12 Predicts later height in four countries Predicts later learning in three countries Does not predict later psychosocial development Cognitive skills at 12 Predict later height in one country only Predict learning in four countries Predict later psychosocial development in two countries Psychosocial development at 12 Does not predict later height Predicts learning in two countries Predicts later psychosocial development in one county only Source: Sanchez, A. (2013) The structural relationship between nutrition, cognition and non-cognitive skills: evidence from four developing countries, Young Lives Working Paper 111 Example: interdependencies between domains of development
  • Early circumstances are critically important to later development across domains of children’s development -1.6 -1.4 -1.2 -1.0 -0.8 -0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0.0 Heightforageby8 years(z-scores) Child average height-for-age at age 8 by household characteristics at age 1 (2002), Ethiopia >>>>>>> 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Mathstestscore(out of29questions) Child average maths scores at age 8 by household characteristics at age 1 (2002), Ethiopia >>>>>>
  • But considerable change in development indicators beyond the very earliest period of life Example: change in height-for-age status between 1 year and 5 years 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Stunted Not stunted Stunted Not stunted Stunted Not stunted Stunted Not stunted Ethiopia Andhra Pradesh Peru Vietnam Chidlrenstunted/notstuntedat1(%) Stunted at 5 years Not stunted at 5 years Lundeen et al. (2013) ‘Growth faltering and recovery in children aged 1-8 years in four low– and middle-income countries: Young Lives’, Public Health Nutrition
  • But considerable change in development indicators beyond the very earliest period of life Example: change in height for age status between 1 year and 5 years 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Stunted Not stunted Stunted Not stunted Stunted Not stunted Stunted Not stunted Ethiopia Andhra Pradesh Peru Vietnam Chidlrenstunted/notstuntedat1(%) Stunted at 5 years Not stunted at 5 years Lundeen et al (2013) ‘Growth faltering and recovery in children aged 1-8 years in four low – and middle income countries: Young Lives’, Public Health Nutrition Faltering Physically recovering
  • With the risk of the accumulation of disadvantage with age Example: change in vocabulary performance, Ethiopia 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 PPVT at 5 PPVT at 8 Averagepercentilerank Children from better off households with high initial scores (N=266) Children from poorer households with high initial scores (N=88) Children from better-off households with low initial scores (N=60) Children from poorer households with low initial scores (N=186)
  • But with more encouraging evidence that good policy can make an important difference Example: maths test results across grade 5 in Vietnam (age 10) 400 420 440 460 480 500 520 540 Oct-11 Apr-12 Average Kinh Ethnic Minority Source: Rolleston et al. (2013) Making Progress: Report of the Young Lives School Survey in Vietnam, Young Lives Working Paper 100 What might have helped? - Forms of teaching (e.g. nature of curricula, ability of teachers) - Not being selected into poorly performing schools (e.g. Infrastructure, teachers etc.)
  • Systematic and life-course differences in the ways in which services are experienced Example: access to pre-school, entrance and exit from formal school in Andhra Pradesh
  • Children and young people in different age phases face different pressures and determinants of later transitions and outcomes • Household central mediator of opportunities, with health a major feature. Households with young children likely to face particular need. Therefore anti-poverty policy likely to be pro-child. • Universalisation of schooling places school central in lives and expectations of young people. Policy can create ‘cliff edges’ triggering e.g. changes between schools; exams within schools • As children grow older, experiences widen, towards school and wider society. At older ages ‘social’ risk becomes increasingly important
  • Children and young people in different age phases face different pressures and determinants of later transitions and outcomes Dercon, S. and A. Singh (2011) From Nutrition to Aspirations and Self-Efficacy: Gender Bias over Time among Children in Four Countries, Young Lives Working Paper 71 -2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 Ethiopia AP India Peru Vietnam Maths test score gap 15 12 8 Pro girlPro boy Example: test scores at by age stage
  • Implications • Poverty a risk factor across age points: - Effects accumulating with age - With evidence of interaction between domains • Early circumstances are vital, but there is dynamism after the earliest point (recovery and faltering) – potential for policy? Identification of key ‘transitions’? • Effective policy can narrow gaps, but often doesn’t. Equity concerns need to focus within systems • Data revolution. Need for both monitoring of the extent of disadvantages and evaluation to inform policy choices
  • Finally - future agenda 1. Analysis of Rounds 1- 4 (for Younger Cohort ages 1-12 years; for Older Cohort ages 8-19 years). Fourth round being analysed now, launch events September 2014 2. Key themes for planned analysis Nutrition • Child nutrition, growth and development. • Mothers’ life-long nutrition history Cognition and school-based learning • School-based learning • Cognition, nutrition and early care Personal and social development in adolescents and youth • Life-transition choices (including partnership, parenthood and work) • Risk behaviours Across all, trajectories and determinants of multi-dimensional disadvantage 3. Fifth (and currently final) round of data collection in 2016. Data will then be available on phases from early childhood to early adulthood.
  • Thank you